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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Teen Lifeline Inc

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Counseling, Hot Lines & Crisis Intervention, Mental Health, Mental Health & Crisis Intervention

Mission: Teen Lifeline was established in 1986 to impact the devastating problem of teen suicide through a free, confidential, peer supported hotline and life skills development that empowers Arizona's youth to reach their full potential. The core of Teen Lifeline is its Peer Counseling Hotline which provides troubled youth throughout Arizona the opportunity to access immediate help from a Peer Counselor 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Teen Lifeline is the only Peer Counseling Hotline in Arizona and one of only 32 nation-wide. Each year, Teen Lifeline receives more than 12,000 calls for help from youth ranging in age from 8 to 22. Calls are answered by Peer Counselors who receive a minimum of 72 hours of training and are supervised at all times by a master's level behavioral health clinician. The training and staff support allow these volunteers to confidently help other teens resolve problems ranging from school problems and relationship issues to suicide, dating violence, and being a victim of abuse. By providing a free, confidential service, which is available to address any issues that a teen may be facing, Teen Lifeline helps prevent unresolved problems from leading a youth to consider suicide as an option. In October 2003, Teen Lifeline received Crisis Intervention Program Certification through the American Association of Suicidology and was the first peer counseling hotline to receive such certification. One of the core values of AAS is that every citizen has the basic right to necessary assistance in life threatening or other crises. This value reflects the basic philosophy that an active intervention must be done in life threatening situations. AAS certification assures the community that the services provided by Teen Lifeline adheres to current, nationally recognized best practices standards of care, training and a commitment to quality improvement.

Results: In 2013, Teens Lifeline received 12,757 hotline calls, an increase of 10.3% from 2012. This demonstrates that peer counseling continues to be a critical tool for troubled youth in Arizona. Our Community Education program reached over 36,000 people, providing awareness, education and prevention within the community focusing on various teen issues such as teen suicide, depression and grief. We provided services in 147 schools, 31 community and youth based organizations, 6 corporate business, and 9 conferences. Teen Lifeline has trained 73 new teen volunteers bringing our total to 106 active ten volunteers. All Teen Lifeline Peer Counselors complete the Life Skills Development Program before they can answer any calls.

Target demographics: Youth in Arizona.

Geographic areas served: State of Arizona.

Programs: The peer-to-peer hotline is a 24-hour hotline where teens can call to talk to teens and they can help each other make healthy decisions. Our Life Skills Development program trains the teens to answer the hotline, as well as teaches them skills such as communication, listening and problem-solving (along with other skills) that they will use throughout their lives. Our Community Outreach and Education program teaches teens how to deal with suicide and depression, grief and loss, stress and coping, and bullying. We also have presentations for adults on what to do if you believe a teen is suicidal. Most presentations are free of charge.

Community Stories

21 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the honor of being involved with Teen Lifeline as board members since the late 1990s. Each year, I am more and more impressed with the amazing things this organization can accomplish with a small but mighty staff working on a non-profit budget.

However, most striking is seeing first hand the truly life-changing impact they have on the teens on both ends of the phone - those seeking help and the teens who volunteer their time and talents to become peer counselors.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Teen Lifeline for 2 years and during that time, I have seen how dedicated the staff, volunteers, donors and Board are to the mission. The organization continues to grow with metrics that directly impact teen suicide prevention. It's a pleasure to be part of a well-run non profit that has such tremendous support and the opportunity to widen our reach with the goal of saving lives.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a current Board Member and former school administrator, I am thankful for this organization's commitment to excellence and passion to help our young people all across the state!

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is provides a valuable services to the community through the training of teens to become peer counselors,fielding calls from teens to help them find answers to challenges they are facing and providing outreach to schools across the state. As a board member I have heard many positive stories about the impact Teen Lifeline has had on the lives of the young people touched by the organization. I am continually impressed by the work the staff and volunteers do in order to make a difference in teens lives.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline serves an important role in the Arizona community. In addition to the crisis hotline, they provide community outreach services for prevention, education, and postvention.

When a teen feels like they have no other options, TL gives them someone to talk to. The organization is one of only a handful in the country that has teen peer volunteers staffing a crisis hotline. The impact of this is tremendous as it allows Arizona teens to feel like they're talking with someone who relates to them, not "just an adult" who "doesn't understand" them.

Teen Lifeline is truly a special organization, providing invaluable experience to its volunteers and, even more importantly, saving the lives of Arizona teens on a regular basis.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been a proud board member of Teen Lifeline for a couple years. I was introduced to Teen Lifeline as a vendor and was given a tour by one of the teens. The professionalism and knowledge of the teenager giving the tour was so impressive and it was shocking to hear the statistics of teenagers that have considered suicide. Teen Lifeline’s peer counselors and staff genuinely care about the teens they are talking too and are committed to helping them get help with their problems.

2

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a new Board Member for Teen Lifeline, I'm impressed with the organizational commitment to teen suicide prevention. The leadership team is visionary, caring, and committed to reaching more teens with the message of hope through peer to peer hotline support. The agency is lean, efficient, and transparent with their resources. The Counselors and teen leaders are empowered to make a difference! As a public high school principal, I'm thrilled these resources are available to our young people!

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline is an inspiring life changing organization that strives to touch as many teens as possible. The staff and the trained Peer Counselors are among the most caring and compassionate people who give endlessly. Teen Lifeline provides resources to teens who feel like they have nothing or no one. Teen Lifeline spreads awareness and offers assistance to those in need, and to those who may need in the future. Knowing there is an organization like Teen Lifeline makes me feel hopeful for all who feel alone and are in crisis.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen Lifeline serves an important role in the Phoenix community and beyond. Through the work of experienced employees and well-trained teen counselors, they provide support to teens in crisis. The teen years can be challenging and parents can't always help. Peer-to-peer counseling has proven to be very effective. The goal of Teen Lifeline is to be a resource for every teen that needs help. Their outreach program is also a very effective way of increasing awareness of this valuable resource. Great work is being done by this organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Teen LIfeline is an eye-opening, life-saving organization that helps teenagers through difficult times. It serves as a helpful reminder that life will get better and that all problems can be worked through. The staff and personal put 110% into helping others. This is truly a wonderful group and something all teenagers should know about. Life dishes many unfair road blocks, and it's important to know that you are not alone and that problems can be solved. Teen Lifeline shares choices and options with those who are struggling. More than anything, Teen Lifeline lends an ear to listen and talk through the issues.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The peer to peer concept, where teens talk to teens, makes Teen Lifeline a unique and outstanding organization tackling the painful issue of teenage suicide.
Offering an opportunity to talk, a moment where someone listens who may have the right distance to the problems a caller feels he cannot stand anymore, can be decisive for a decision about life and death.
The teens engaged in Teen Lifeline are highly committed to the mission and deliver outstanding support to their unknown peers on the other line of the phone.

Communities cannot tolerate the issue of teenage suicide inside their boundaries. Supporting the mission of Teen Lifeline appears to be a no brainer for community leaders in private and public sector.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I first learned about Teen Lifeline through a customer who was involved as an Advisory Board member and invited me to attend the organization's Crystal Ball event. While I was not able to attend, I took the opportunity to research Teen Lifeline and ultimately wanted to learn more. After taking a tour of the facility and meeting some of the passionate employees and teen volunteers, I ultimately decided that Teen Lifeline was a group I wanted to get involved with. It is an organization that tackles an extremely tough issue (teen suicide) that has plagued the state of Arizona at an alarming rate. By educating and empowering teens to make sound decisions, Teen Lifeline is truly saving the lives of Arizona's teens. In addition, the organization runs extremely lean and I feel that the infrastructure allows Board Members to be actively involved and influential in how the organization operates.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I was a board member from 2001 to 2007. Teen Lifeline is unique in that it provides the teen volunteers with life-changing skills that they can share with their peers that call in for help. Teen Lifeline touches kids and their families at the deepest level. The organization reaches people with no regard for economic status, lifestyle choices or race. What an awesome organization!

Board Member

Rating: 5

I've been a part of Teen Lifeline for over 10 years and have experienced countless times the benefits of the hotline to the teens who call and the life skills training that the peer counselors receive. The staff at Teen Lifeline are among the most committed I've seen at any non-profit and their clinical skills are superior

Board Member

Rating: 5

I am writing this review of Teen Lifeline as I am personally very passionate about this organization and it is the very least I could do to ensure it’s continued success serving our community.

I am a former Teen Lifeline board member, adult volunteer and the parent of a youth Teen Lifeline counselor. I have had a relationship with Teen Lifeline for fifteen years. My son Anthony volunteered for the organization for 5 years. He became a youth volunteer at a young age and the relationships he built there have served as very strong foundations for his personal development. As I watched his developing passion for the organization and his emotional growth fueled by the staff and mentor councilors at Teen Lifeline, I knew I had to get involved. I personally struggled with severe depression as a teen and the work that was being done by this group tugged at my heart strings. As I volunteered as a fund raiser and parent, I formed great admiration for the staff councilors and the teens they were shaping.

I truly can say that the life skills that were taught to my son in order to strengthen him as a teen counselor, have in turn guided him through some very trying adolescent years and allowed him to always turn back to his Lifeline training.

The years I served as a board member were quite gratifying. I always felt that I was serving a true grass roots organization that was a vital part of helping my community by building a strong resource for our youth. Teen suicide is an unnecessary tragedy. By giving our youth information, choices and a place to turn we truly can lesson the impact of this sad epidemic. The staff and volunteers of this wonderful organization drive this concept forward every day. If I could give a ten star review, I would!

Thank you for this opportunity.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I became involved with Teen Lifeline after receiving a tour from a teen counselor who was AMAZING! Since I've become involved I have witnessed first-hand, lives being saved by these wonderful people. They are passionate about helping teens in crisis and my work with them has been so rewarding.

John A.

Board Member

Rating: 5

The staff of this organization is very well organized and effecient. The teen peer counslers are well trained and are extremely dedicated to helping teens in crisis.
I serve on other non profit boards, but none with the effeciency and dedication of this organization.
From the board to the staff to the teen counslers, everyone is working hard to provide the best place for teens with problems, to get help.

Mike G.

Board Member

Rating: 5

For years my employer has contributed to Teen Lifeline then, over the last few years, my family was exposed to some teenage tragedies that really made me take a closer look at programs that could help Teens. After talking with my teenage daughter I realized that peer counseling, like that provided by Teen Lifeline, was something many teens would use and seek out. So I became a donor and board member of Teen Lifeline to help this wonderful organization grow and provide services to more teens. Teen Lifeline is a small organization, it almost seems more like a family, that could really use help in reaching out to teens in crisis.

Amy V.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have known about TeenLifeline since it's inception in 1986. It was the same year that I started working as a Prevention Specialist in Phoenix Elementary and Roosevelt School districts. I held that job for ten years and there were many times that I gave Teen Lifeline's number to a student who felt sad and alone and needed someone to talk to after school hours.
In 1995 I began working as a part-time hotline supervisor at Teen Lifeline. That's when I saw first hand the critical impact this resource has on youth. It's not just the teen callers who benefit from this service, but also the amazing students who volunteer a significant amount of their time to staff the hotline. Volunteering at Teen Lifeline requires a huge commitment and over 75 hours of training before a teen ever answers a call. As a therapist with a Master's in counseling I was awestruck at the compassion and skill that I witnessed the first time I ever observed a peer counselor pick up the phone and respond to a caller in crisis. Within minutes the peer counselor connected with the caller and got to the heart of the problem. Another 20 minutes and the caller had figured out a resolution to her problem and had a viable action plan. Over the next few years I witnessed, first hand, the undeniable impact that Teen Lifeline has on our community's youth. When a teenager has nowhere to turn, and is facing a problem that seems insurmountable, their thoughts can very quickly turn to suicide. I believe that Teen Lifeline has offered salvation to thousands of desparate teens over the years and prevented countless suicides. I am passionate about Teen LIfeline because I believe that Teen Lifeline saves lives.
In 1998 I was asked to serve on an advisory board to help direct Teen Lifeline's future. In 2000 I became a founding Board member as Teen Lifeline established itself as a stand alone non-profit organization, and ceased to exist as a program under a larger non-profit. I continued to serve as an active Board member until this year (2011) when I stepped down and assumed the role of emeritus board member. I have nothing but good things to say about the organization, it's mission, it's impact and it's leadership.

Board Member

Rating: 5

We hear stats like suicide is the 3rd leading cause of death among teens. We hear on the news about bullying in schools and cyber bullying. What we don't always hear is that these issues go far beyond just bullying. Along with bullying, issues like date rape and substance abuse impact children, pre-teens and all ages.

I started as a board member with Teen Lifeline when I was in my mid 20's. Almost 8 years later and now through the eyes of a mother myself (I have 2 children) I am even more passionate about the work that we do. Teen Lifeline saves lives!

I had friends that took their lives when I was younger and to think if Teen Lifeline had existed in my hometown and these resources had been available back then, then perhaps these people could have been saved.

For anyone who is interested in learning more or becoming involved it is certainly worth the trip down to the Teen Lifeline offices. While there you can take a tour and meet our teen volunteers who run the hotline and help save the lives of thousands of teens in our community simply by talking to them and letting these callers know that someone cares. It's quite an amazing experience and will warm your heart to see first hand what we are doing to help the community and our youth.